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3 minutes ago, dutyfree said:

Currently in Westhaven piles moorings according to the marina

Yep, got that text too. Impressed that they took the initative and notified berth holders

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On 9/05/2020 at 8:01 AM, Fish said:

I had a good conversation with the Leopard Seal guy...

Fish in your conversation the leopard seal guy did u establish if there is a way that a non marina based water user can establish where the seal is?

I think that would be a good thing.

Do u have any contact details for the guy?

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10 hours ago, Ed said:

Yep, got that text too. Impressed that they took the initative and notified berth holders

And also messaged inflatable boat repairers to go ahead with the additions to the house - they'll be able to afford it....

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1 hour ago, Romany said:

Fish in your conversation the leopard seal guy did u establish if there is a way that a non marina based water user can establish where the seal is?

I think that would be a good thing.

Do u have any contact details for the guy?

Yes I did ask that, and in short, not really, but the info is available, just not widely distributed. Refer below for details of the discussion, why they don't want to use a tracker, but that they know where she is most of the time, and are happy to notify people / groups. Keep in mind these leopard seal guys are all volunteers. DoC is the fully paid organisation that is supposed to manage this type of wildlife.

Contact info is on here: http://www.leopardseals.org/

email here  info@LeopardSeals.org 

They have been very responsive when I have emailed asking if she had cleared a particular area I wanted to paddle in. It is difficult keeping a 100% track on her, as she is as free as a bird and goes where she wants. The main issue now is dinghies, and as far as I can tell everyone keeps deflatables out of the water now, accept for live aboards, cause of the hassle. You either need to live with it (the risk) or get a hard dinghy in my opinion.

Funny story related to the risk of Owha. Tonight after work I took the kids for a play on their (new during lockdown) paddle boards. I'm not that great on time management by the end of the week and was running a bit late. Sun set while we were playing in a shallow bay with the outgoing tide (Manly), but its warm enough. Daughter was getting a bit edgy about being out in the dark, and was wary of stingrays in the shallows. Boy was just having fun catching the little knee high waves. All three if us wading ashore in shin deep water in the near dark, and saw something just ahead of us, maybe some fish. Tell the kids to stop moving in an urgent voice (I have to work on sounding more calm...) Anyway, this damn stingray swims between my daughter and son, who were perhaps 1 meter apart. They didn't see it, and I wouldn't tell them why I told them to stop until we got home... We were 2 or 3 child sized steps away from standing on the damn thing - then I would have had some explaining to do to my missus...

So we can get all excited about this one leopard seal (who is a pain in the arse for dinghies), but she is not the only hazard out there in the marine environment, there are others that certainly I am a bit blaze about. And that is not even worrying about the risk of crashing the car on the way to the beach, or catching what ever it is thats going around at the moment...  

On 9/05/2020 at 8:01 AM, Fish said:

I had a good conversation with the Leopard Seal guy last night. He'd been at Stanmore Bay from 8 am till at least 6 pm (when I left) minding the seal and answering questions. A volunteer on his day off from a regular money paying job.

I did ask him why we don't just pop a tracker in her arse, as a lot of people would appreciate knowing when to lift their dinghies out of the water. He did acknowledge that. On the tracker, its complicated, need a permit, tranquilisers etc, but the main thing is they have a good idea where she is all the time anyway from reports. He did give me a detailed run down of her movements over the last week or so, including how she ate a dinghy of a live aboard in Whangateau last Tuesday...

They do regularly email the marinas when she changes regions or general locations. So they do and are happy to inform people of her location. I have emailed them in the past, when she was up Stillwater, cause I wanted to go paddle boarding, and he was very responsive and helpful by email. If you are genuinely interested, I'd email via the leopardseal.org email on their website. Longer term, I'd propose the various yacht clubs get onto the marina email alert list, and the yacht clubs email their memberships. Certainly Weiti's manager is very proactive with email news, and its a reliable and established way of communicating to the boating community.

They do strongly discourage advertising her exact location. Yesterday they had over 500 people go for a look. Mind you, she was parked on a popular beach in the urban environment. There was a steady stream of cars parking, and people walking down etc, like a crowd heading to a sports game or something, you could tell where she was by following the crowd.

 

 

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There was an inflatable discourtlesly dumped on my marina berth finger at Westhaven last weekend, when I popped down to check on the boat.  One could assume, tentatively, it belonged to my new neighbour. 

I hope Owha eats it, teaches the cheeky pr*ck a lesson.

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On 12/05/2020 at 2:36 PM, Veladare said:

Well the owner was adamant. There is now more than one isnt there?

The bag was shredded

I live at Stanmore and spoke to the leopard seal people last week. They get almost daily sightings of her and said it was super weird her hanging out round this side of Whangaparoa. 

When my dinghy got sealed I sent them photos and the leopard seal people were able to confirm it was her. They said they have had seen damage to boats caused by fur seals as well. 

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On 16/05/2020 at 12:16 PM, outoftime said:

I live at Stanmore and spoke to the leopard seal people last week. They get almost daily sightings of her and said it was super weird her hanging out round this side of Whangaparoa. 

When my dinghy got sealed I sent them photos and the leopard seal people were able to confirm it was her. They said they have had seen damage to boats caused by fur seals as well. 

Ahh blaming the cousins :) now.  Fur seals probably damage them by trying to jump in them judging by the size of the one I saw sunning itself at Westhaven last year.

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I see they still have the "likely shot in face" on their page.  I have never really looked at the photo before, but can anyone else see the big scratch that seems to start at the puncture wound?  Strange thing for a bullet to create.

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Position update from the leopard seal folks via FB.

 

Owha has been spending a lot of time just north of Whangaparaoa recently and was seen using a local beach again this morning.

If you see her please contact us immediately either by phone (0800 536 7273) or email (info@leopardseals.org).

Please DO NOT post her exact current location online, this creates a crowding issue that puts her and the public at risk. It is ok to post a general location (e.g. she is on a beach in the Whangaparaoa area to warn dog owners)

If you find Owha or any other leopard seal please give them 20m space to let them rest. Call the Department of Conservation if you witness anyone harassing a seal.

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12 hours ago, Veladare said:

Bullet my arse... its hurts its face on a nail attacking a fender or something similar

I made a comment to that effect recently on a FB page closely aligned to the Leopard Seal folks. I was expecting to get torn a new one. I actually got a surprisingly large amount of support, and no one tried challenging the point. So it would appear from that experience a lot of the environmentally focused Owha supporters don't believe she was shot either.

(Not saying sailors aren't environmentally focused, but this group are heavily pro Owha / marine life, to the extent one of them was bad mouthing boaties as low life humans who had shot this poor creature, etc etc)

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52 minutes ago, Bigfish said:

To all you saying its "bollocks" she got shot, you obviously weren't there at the time seeing her face covered in blood. you only get to hear the snippets in forums and facebook. It was disgusting to say the least, a nail, puncture whatever you want to call it still wouldn't cause an animal to bleed that much. 

I have seen pretty extensive bleeding from a nail in my foot, a slice to my hand etc.  You can have your opinion, but given what I have seen her up to in the marina I would place way more weight on a nail or screw than being shot.

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Gun shot would have been through and through, exit wound? BF were you there? was the Vet there? Maybe it was an inflatable fighting back? or are they just opinions based on minimal information? As is mine.

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Based on my extensive evaluation of the wound (sarcasm), but looking at the photo with the clear scrape mark that links to the hole, I would assess a puncture wound.  Way less sensational than a bullet hole, which would have required someone to be quite close with a silencer????  Which seems most likely?  Someone wandering around with a silenced rifle or a leopard seal with a known propensity to attack inflatables and who knows what else (I watched her skin and eat a fur seal in Westhaven, including throwing it around like a rag doll)?  Or someone with a rifle that no one heard?

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I would be suprised if that was a bullet hole. Even at 50 metres a .22 projectile is going to shatter the seals muzzle which may not kill her instantly but would certainly prevent her from eating. 

Screenshot_20200529-203837_Chrome~2.jpg

I was a fulltime culler/hunter once upon a time so very familiar with the damage a bullet does.

The injury is in an unusual place for it to be accidental though and I wonder if a spearfishing spear is the more likely culprit? Rightfully fended off from the back of a boat or inflatable? 

Screenshot_20200529-205159_Chrome~2.jpg

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That is a plausible scenario Sabre. It is much more plausible that a weapon that is common on boats and the marina environment was used, rather than a weapon that requires a licence, must be kept locked in a safe etc was used, esp a gun in a highly built urban environment, with CCTV all over the place without anyone hearing or noticing.

All we can safely conclude is that Owha suffered a puncture wound. Anything else is conjecture. What did wind me up, is the implication that a boatie deliberately shot her cause she eats dinghies. There is nothing to support that statement and never was.

And to be fair, big ups to Bigfish for putting a contrary point of view, especially as a newbie. I can confidently say there is no evidence to support your point of view, and I honestly beleive the gunshot theory to be wrong, but other than that, I can only make suppositions.

Cool name too, by the way, Bigfish ;-)

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